February 27, 2021

Economix Blog: The Bright Side of Unemployment?

On Thursday the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development released its latest report on the hundreds of unemployed workers it has been following (and surveying) for two years. As you might expect from the report’s title — “Out of Work and Losing Hope: The Misery and Bleak Expectations of American Workers” — the report’s findings are discouraging.



Dollars to doughnuts.

The typical jobless worker has been pounding the pavement for months and is running low on savings, friends and hope. Even the lucky workers who have found jobs are not exactly thriving, as most of the re-employed in the center’s survey have had to take pay cuts.

Even so, the report did manage to find some good that has come of its respondents’ unemployment spells:

DESCRIPTIONSource: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

The majority of the 675 workers surveyed in August — those whom the center was able to reach from its initial group of 1,202 workers first contacted in August 2009 — said they had worked on projects around the house.

A narrow majority (51 percent) also said they had “spent more enjoyable time” with their families as a result of being unemployed.

Smaller shares cited opportunities for self-improvement they had seized upon, such as additional education, training and volunteer work.

And a slim minority — 16 percent — even became “healthier through exercise.”

Clearly none of this means that all these workers would have been worse off if they’d kept their jobs. But it’s comforting to know that there has been a glimmer of silver lining for at least a few of the nation’s jobless.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=484b0a3716f1e776bc59ca854f6771ac

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